Amazonite Tank

A couple of months ago I saw the Amazonite Tank by Kerri Blumer on Instagram. I knew I had to make it. The pattern incorporated on of my favorite stitches: the seed stitch. But that wasn’t even the best part. Drum roll please… The pattern includes 5 different neckline options! Yes, you read that right 5! Talk about the possibilities.😀

For my tank,  I decided on the Peter Pan collar. I love this style of neckline. It is the right combination of vintage and feminine. For yarn, I used Rowan Summerlite DK in Cantaloupe (100% cotton). Wow, do I love this yarn. It is soft and has a lovely sheen to it. Plus you won’t break the bank :).

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I started this top back in May. Everything was going perfectly until I realized I misjudged the amount of yarn I needed. So this project was put on the back burner until new supplies arrived. I used the very trusty yarn.com. This site is great for popular brands and they tend to carry a great color selection. 

My Amazonite Tank came out pretty darn good. I am in love with the changing texture at the bottom of the tank. I like how it starts very dense and then slowly fades. I will say this tank looks a little boxy on me. When I make it again (and I sure will) I think I will make the smaller size. I did make one modification in that I crocheted a single chain along the neckline edge to make it look cleaner.

So far I am at 3 new cotton tops added to my knitwear collection. I have one more on the blocking mat so check back soon for the finished photos.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

FO: Red Leaf Top

The series of simple summer cotton tops continues! I discovered the Leaf Top on Ravelry on day in June and knew I had to make it. It was simple with with some intricate details. 

The Leaf Top is a seamless top- down piece. The yoke was pretty easy to work despite others (as per online reviews) finding it tricky. I will say the yoke did come out a little big. The eyelets fall a little low on my chest so I have to wear a tank top underneath. I defiantly could have gone a needle size smaller.

This pattern calls for worsted weight yarn so it made for a super quick knit. I used Rico Creative Cotton in Red. I bought this yarn from the Love Knitting website. It was super affordable and had lots of colors to choose from.  This cotton was pretty soft when knitting, however it was quite loosely spun. I had to frog back to some sections where I didn’t catch all of the fibers in one swoop. 

I plan on rocking this top quite a bit as it has been SO HOT and humid here on the east coast. I like that this top is versatile enough to wear casually (with jean shorts) or with something a little more dressed up.

Until Next Time

-Whit-

WIP: The Calais Shawl

For the last few months, I have been on a little bit of a yarn buying binge. Half of the reason is that I cleaned out my stash before I moved. Out with the old and in with the new right?  The other half of the reason is my having a little bit of a fear of not having yarn right away in China. Yes, I know China will have yarn, but I wanted to be prepared until I found a reliable retailer.

Lucky for me locating yarn on my travels has not been an issue at all. Just the other day I was walking down the street in Vineyard Haven, MA (I am back in Martha’s Vineyard) and saw some yarn in the window. Well, I took a detour to just check it out and ended up with two pretty balls of Crystal Palace Sausalito in Mediterranean. I was very much drawn to the two tone ply and I loved the colors. Plus this yarn was super soft and squishy (80% Merino Wool/20% Nylon).

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At first, I thought I would craft a pair of sock for myself. Then I remembered the Calais Shawl . This shawl has been on my to-make list for a long long while. I have to say I was a little nervous to use this yarn as it has a lot of color going on and the pattern is predominantly lace. However, a Ravelry search inspired me to go with it as several others have used variegated yarn and their shawls look amazing.

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Everything is looking good so far. Knitting anything lace is always deceptive as it bunches up quite a bit as you knit. Have you ever went against your “editing eye” and taken a knitting risk?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Great Pattern, Not So Great Yarn

In May,  I was asked to test knit a sweater for Life is Cozy. I just happened to have 5 skeins of hot pink alpaca yarn (from my trip in Ecuador) that needed to be knitted up, so I said yes. I have test knit for this designer before and love her designs. They are simple constructions with interesting and delicate details. The Forever April Sweater was no exception. The design elements that caught my eye were the shaped waistline and the off the shoulder neckline.

The Forever April Sweater is a top down raglan sweater with bell shaped sleeves. I did bump up a needle size (US size 2 and 4) as my yarn was a little thicker than the recommended yarn. I didn’t want the piece to be too dense. The only other modification I made was to shorten the length of the sweater as the recipient is on the petite side. I ended up keeping all of the waist shaping increases and decreases and just began the ribbing 3 inches before my desired end length. 

So why does my title contain the words “not so good yarn”? Well this yarn was by far the worst yarn I have ever worked with. It shed EVERYWHERE! Anytime I worked on this sweater I would end up having a layer of hot pink fuzz covering me. This yarn was was also not very tightly wound. I have a pretty tight knitting tension so at one point I broke the yarn 4 times in one row 😫. To make matters worse I tried it on and it was SO itchy. Ugh! This “not so good yarn” made finishing this project a pain. 

Despite my dislike for the yarn, the sweater came out quite lovely. I made sure to give it a long soak and it doesn’t seem as itchy.  Buster (my “fur brother”) seemed to approve.

I am a little bummed that my yarn choice was a let down, however, The Forever April Sweater is a great pattern. It makes a lovely sweater for the spring or chilly summer nights. I highly recommend you head to Life is Cozy and download this free pattern.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Kroy Socks

Summer knitting = sock knitting to me. For the past 3 summers,  I have come home from my travels with a nice pair of socks. This year I am ahead of the game finishing my summer socks in just 2.5 weeks. Thanks to our one week road trip across America I had plenty of time to knit them up. I used 2 skeins of Patons Kroy Sock yarn in Grey Brown Marl. Patons has recently been stocking some pretty decent sock yarn at Michael’s. This has made my wallet very happy. This yarn is 75% washable wool and 25% nylon. I find it a good choice for those in your life who like low maintenance knitwear (aka won’t bother with the hand washing). The Kroy line has some great colors, particularly for men who prefer subdue colors (i.e., dark red, green, grey).

My Kroy socks were made with a double magic loop toe up construction (Judy’s magic cast on) with an afterthought heel. I didn’t want to bother with ribbing across the whole sock so I just worked a 3×3 rib across the top and cuff. I then used Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy bind off. Afterthought heels are so convenient, especially on the go! I also find they make the perfect &heel for the men in my life.

These socks are intended for my dad for Christmas. He has way too many knit beanies so hopefully, he will be happy with the result.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

I Can’t Resist Cashmere

Cashmere you dreamy fiber. How I love your glorious softness. Generally, I avoid you in the yarn store because I cannot resist your charm. However, on my recent trip to Vermont, I caved. I caved hard and now am the proud owner of three new skeins of Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blended goodness.

I purchased my new skeins from a lovely store called Nido. The shop is located on the second floor of a beautiful old brick building. One side of the store is devoted to fabrics and the other side is fiber. The staff members were perfect. They greeted me when I came in, but gave space to do my perusing (aka petting). After a little while, I was approached and given the full yarn tour. Personally, I like to have time with the yarn before the sales associates try to sway me.

nido_VermontQuiltFestival_R1I didn’t explore the fabric side much as my sewing skills are horrific. However, I spent about 20 minutes on the fiber side. Nido carries more of the quality yarns (think Madeline Tosh, Brooklyn Tweed, Quince & Co.) and has a limited variety of brands. This is defiantly the shop you go in when you have a special project in mind. They also carry some very awesome knitting books and possess gorgeous samples.

So what did I buy? Well, I purchased two skeins of yarn from Magpie Fibers. I have never tried nor seen this yarn in my LYS so I was extra excited to be introduced to it. The skiens are called “Jaded” and ” Frankie Says Relax”. I was drawn to the rich colors in each of the yarns. My vision is to intermix the solid skein and the variegated one in a basic sweater silhouette.

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I also purchased a skein of String Theory’s Casper Sock Yarn.  Immediately, I thought of these socks and knew that I had to have this yarn. So in the bag it went. The photo doesn’t show it well, but this yarn is variegated with shades of blue and purple. I am quite curious to see how it knits up.

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Overall, I am overjoyed with my purchases and can’t wait to get this yarn on the needles. Cashmere is such a treat.

Is there a fiber that makes your heart melt? 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

FO: Zinone Top

It is officially summer and I am excited for the much needed vacation time ahead. In preparation for the hot weather, I have been knitting up some cute cotton tops. One pattern that I have had my eye on was the Zinone top by Andi Satterlund. I love love love the lace detail along the back of the top. I will say I think my lace got a little off center. I am choosing to consider it a “design modification” (hahah)

Zinone is a great pattern as it has several options to make the top of your dreams. This top can be made as a crop top or full length. You can also make a partial or full lace back (depending on how ambitious you are feeling). I went with partial lace back and more of the crop length. 

As with most of Andi’s patterns, the top is made from the top down and includes waist shaping. The best part…minimal end weaving as the body is made in the round. Woot woot! 

I tried a new yarn that I found in my LYS. It is called Bio Sesia 5 and it is 100% organic cotton. This yarn was one of the best cotton yarns I have knit with. It is soft on the fingers, pretty tightly wound (for a cotton yarn), and creates a well-defined garment. I have worn the top a couple of times now and I am happy to report no pilling! 

Zinone is another great pattern from Andi! I can’t wait to get some more wear out of it. I tried to wear this top on my trip to Martha’s Vineyard to model for you, however, it started downporing and my lovely new top got soaking wet ☹️. Follow me on Instagram (@knitsbywhitsf) for some dry photos in the coming days. 

Until Next Time,

-Whit-